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Blue Cheese Bake

The French name for this dish - Soupe au Fromage - is wonderfully misleading. It isn't a soup by modern standards, but it is an old and very comforting baked cheese dish from the Auvergne region. It's very good as a main course, too, with a crisp green salad on the side.

ingredients

serves 6
olive oil
4 red onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed, peeled and chopped
200 ml dry white wine
200 ml chicken or vegetable stock
12 slices country-style bread (about 600g)
6 tomatoes, peeled
a bunch of basil
300g St Agur, Roquefort or other blue
cheese, sliced or crumbled
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

method

1. Heat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

2. Heat a little oil in a pan and gently saute the onions and garlic for 10 minutes until soft - do not brown or frizzle them. Add the white wine and stock, gently bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat.

3. Toast the slices of bread. Slice the tomatoes and roughly tear the basil. Rub a shallow ovenproof dish with a little olive oil. Cover the base with a layer of toasted bread topped with sliced tomato, basil, cheese and seasoning.

4. Repeat until all the ingredients are used except for 100 g cheese. Pour the onion and wine over the bread and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 15 minutes, then serve at once.

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